Bloomberg News

U.K.’s Hammond Says Chemical Weapons Use in Syria Not Conclusive

May 02, 2013

U.K. Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria is “compelling but not conclusive” and “hard evidence” will be needed to mobilize international action against the Syrian regime.

“There is compelling but not conclusive evidence that chemical weapons have been used,” Hammond said today in a briefing for reporters at the British embassy in Washington. “We need to continue to build that evidence base.”

Hammond, echoing President Barack Obama’s call for more investigation, said conclusive evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons would be critical for the U.K. to support any military intervention.

“We went to war in Iraq based on evidence that proved not to be correct,” Hammond said. “We have to be absolutely sure we are on firm ground and we’re not looking at another dodgy dossier.”

To contact the reporter on this story: David Lerman in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at

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